Baseball season is in full swing, trees have sprouted leaves, and lilacs are beginning to bloom. Welcome to a great season in the Twin Cities. Warm sunny weather is ideal for outdoor festivals and street dancing, and we have Art-A-Whirl in Minneapolis this weekend to help us enjoy music outdoors. See more information below. We’re also beginning to see young musicians return from college for the summer, and of course, some great visiting musicians to complement our own resident musicians. Get out and hear some music – it lifts the spirit!
Wednesday, May 16
Terrence Blanchard & The E-Collective @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) The last time trumpeter Blanchard & the E Collective was in town, they were recording songs in cities where conflicts have arisen over police shootings of African Americans. They chose the Twin Cities after the death of Philando Castille. Now they’re touring on the April release of Live!, which features seven powerful songs from that tour. They stress that the project condemns all gun violence, whether against profiled persons of color or law enforcement.
Pete Whitman Presents: New Boundaries @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Wednesdays at Jazz Central are a laboratory for new groups and new compositions. Tonight, saxophonist Pete Whitman brings a new group to the basement club, with: Omid Huttar, guitars; Javi Santiago, keys; Yonsathan Bekure, bass; and LA Buckner, drums.
Thursday, May 17
Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist Cardenas is doing video tonight to capture her emotive voice singing There Will Never Be Another You, from her debut CD I’ll Be Seeing You. Here she is with an Etta James nugget.
Tyler Wagner Group @ The Underground Cafe, Saint Paul 7pm (Tip Jar) This is a group of talented, college-age musicians, featuring Tyler Wagner, bass; Will Schmid, guitar; Peter Goggin, alto; and Ed Caitlin, drums.
Friday, May 18
Triocracy @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Horn lovers will enjoy this show which features JC Sanford, trombone; along with Brandon Wozniak and Bruce Thornton on saxophones. Here is Sanford leading an Orchestra.
Saturday, May 19
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Things start off at 7pm with The Constellation Band: Ross Nixon, sax; Kelly Blau, guitar; Sid Gasner, bass; and Derrin Pinto, drums. At 8:30 it’s Davu Seru’s No Territory Band: Seru on drums; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; JC Sanford, trombone; Nathan Hanson, saxes; Pat O’Keefe, Bass Clarinet; and Scott Fultz, baritone sax. This is a CD Release Party for the No Territory Band, so they’re bound to be more energized than usual, if that’s possible.
Saturday, Sunday, May 19, 20
Freddy Cole @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm Sat, 7:30pm Sun ($45, $65) We’re talking jazz royalty here, as Cole is the younger brother of Nat King Cole, and though you may hear some similarities in the timbre of Cole’s voice, his style as a singer and pianist is all his own.
Sunday, May 20
Get Jazzed! @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 4pm-7pm ($50) This fundraiser for The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education will feature music from five young bands. They include three DFJE-sponsored combos of young people who are learning how to communicate and work together in musical groups, as well as the Dakota Combo, featuring some of the best young players n the area, and a group from the high School of Recording Arts. DFJE is raising money to send jazz artists into eight Saint Paul schools, where the artists will spend four sessions with school bands, introducing them to jazz and helping them improve their skills.
Jazz at Indeed Brewing, 711 15th Ave NE, Minneapolis. 1pm – 6pm (Free) The Chris Bates/Bryan Nichols Trio starts things off at 1pm at this Art-A-Whirl gig, while the adventurous Gang Font is on at 4pm and Happy Apple at 5pm. Dosh and Porcupine will also be performing during the afternoon. Here’s the Gang Font.
Monday, May 21
Wall Smashers Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Steven Hobert’s organ trio in its 2nd show, with Hobert on organ, LA Buckner on drums, and Jax Ravel on bass.
Red Planet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Jazz rock without the bombast from /dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.
Tuesday, May 22
Maud Hixson: What Would Doris Do? @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) The music of Doris Day, presented by Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson on piano.
Midnight Love @ Como Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Wow! Some cool jazz at the Pavilion, featuring the music of Lou Donaldson and various and sundry hard bop and R&B tunes with: Greg Schutte, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Matt Darling, trombones; and Patrick Nelson, bass.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, May 16
Rich Lewis Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Members of the Rich Lewis Band have been inspiring folks to dance for over four decades in bands like the Explodo Boys, Dave Ray bands, and GB Leighton, among others. They’ve an affinity for New Orleans music, as well as classic soul, Van Morrison, and others, which comes out in their originals as well as their choice off songs by other artists.
Big George Jackson @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Basso profound blues and boogie from the big man and his band.
Thursday, May 17
The Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Curt Obeda is a fine composer and interpreter off the blues, as well as an outstanding guitarist. The rest of th Butanes are equally talented, which is why they’re so often named the Best Blues Band in the Twin Cities. These Thursday night affairs are often filled with guests who drop into the club fro time to time. as
Thursday, Friday, May 17, 18
Marvin Gaye Tribute @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($29, $39) Vocalist Julius Collins is well-regarded in the Twin Cities music community forms work with Black Julius, Greasy Meal, and in a number of musicals. For this show, he’ll be joined by members of the New Power Generation to perform many of the songs that the late Marvin Gaye brought to us.
Friday, May 18
Ranky Tanky @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $37, $42) This quintet is based out of South Carolina, and performs the music of the Gullah culture of the Southeastern Sea Island region of the US. It’s not a straight recreation of the music, but rather includes elements of jazz, gospel, and R&B, while still repeating the music’s tradition. Pamela Espeland had a nice article about the band in Tuesday’s Star Tribune Read it to learn how the band managed to reach #1 on then jazz charts within few months of its debut release.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 18, 19, 20
Art-A-Whirl @ Various Sites throughout NE Minneapolis. Various times (Free) It’s the annual art studio open house, where you’ll have hundreds of opportunities to buy art from the creative types with studios in old warehouses and other buildings throughout Minneapolis. You’ll hear some music in some of the studios, butAnchor Fish & Chips, Bauhaus Brew Labs, Grumpy’s Northeast, Indeed Brewing, and Pscho Suzie’s. Check out individual websites for schedules.
Sunday, May 20
Stevie Ray Vaughn Tribute @ The Caboose, Minneapolis. 5pm ($15, $20) Here’s A whole host of players are gathering for this tribute, including Pau Mayasich, Brian Naughton, Renee Austin, Craig Clark, Ken Valdez, and many more.
An Evening of Songwriters @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) If you’re looking for something a bit more quiet than Stevie Ray Vaughn tribute, you can check out this evening of terrific songwriters, including the literate Dylan Hicks, and the Americana soulfulness of Molly Maher, as well as the prolific Mary Bue and the well-traveled-among-alt-rock groups Todd Beeson, aka Marvelty.
Jaedyn James & The Hunger @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis.8:30pm (Tip Jar) Funk n’ Roll, Rhythm & Soul from the always energizing 8-piece band. It takes about a minute on this video for music to start.
Monday, May 21
Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Arrive early for a lesson in the fundamentals os swing dancing, then use your new-sound skills to dance to the rip-roaring sounds of taxman Clarke and his aggregation.